Chai Bread

Chai Bread -- A Pinch of Joy
Chai Bread -- A Pinch of Joy

I served chai bread for a ladies luncheon last summer. Subtly spiced, it was a lovely addition to the tea breads. It is also perfect for holiday dinners and buffets. And, as my friend Apple Valley Sue pointed out, it makes a very nice gift! Sue was my Secret Sister one year and gifted me with some chai tea bags – my introduction to the beautiful flavors of chai. I promised to get the recipe to Sue before the holidays so chai bread can be gifted to a hostess, a teacher, a neighbor or anyone else! So here it is!!!

Cardamom adds to the distinctive chai flavor. It is a rather expensive spice so do watch through the year for a spice sale or check the ethnic aisle (or ethnic stores, if you are lucky enough to have them nearby.) I use a chai tea bag to make the tea, but you can also use regular Lipton orange Pekoe. Let it steep at least 5 minutes to strengthen the chai flavor. Then make another cup to take five after you have the bread in the oven. The high baking temperature creates a crisp crust with a soft center. If the crust is deeply browned and the center wet and gooey the first time you do the toothpick check, reduce the temperature to 375. Your oven’s temperament outranks the directions always. Don’t be afraid to adjust temperature and time as needed. You can make a powdered sugar glaze for the top of chai bread, however we prefer it plain (fewer carbs). The bread will keep up to four days without refrigeration or up to 10 days with refrigeration. Also freezes well, unsliced, for up to 3 months.

Chai Bread

Yield: 1 loaf with 16 slices

Serving Size: 1 slice

Chai Bread

A subtly spiced quick bread, perfect for a buffet, a holiday dinner or just because.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup tea
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Instructions

  1. Place one chai tea bag in half cup of hot water and let steep until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray bottom only of 9x5 loaf pan.
  3. Beat sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
  4. On low speed, add tea, milk, eggs and vanilla until well mixed. The mixture will be thin and will look curdled.
  5. Add all dry ingredients and stir gently until just mixed.
  6. Pour into baking pan and spread batter uniformly across the pan.
  7. Bake for 40-50 minutes until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Edges should pull away from sides of pan and be golden brown. Do not underbake.
  8. When done, remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 10 minutes, before turning out on cooling rack.
  9. Slice and serve at room temperature.
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Elegant Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Elegant Crusted Pork Tenderloin -- A Pinch of Joy
Elegant Crusted Pork Tenderloin -- A Pinch of Joy

Elegant Crusted Pork Tenderloin is quick and easy to make and perfect to serve guests. Holiday dinners don’t HAVE to be turkey or ham – especially if you aren’t serving a crowd. This recipe serves 6 (or 4 more generous servings).  

Be sure to buy the precut small tenderloin. Last time I bought a four pound package, thinking it had two tenderloins of two pounds each. It even looked like two. . . .but it was not. So I doubled the crumb portion of the recipe, got out the trusty really sharp knife and Bytes wandered through at the right time so this could happen:
Cutting tenderloin

Pat the meat dry so the crumb and oil mixture will stick better. I usually add the seasoning to the crumb mix, but if you rub them directly on the meat instead of adding them to the crumbs the flavor comes through nicely. I make a bed of crumbs in the pan just the size of the tenderloin, then put the meat in place and pat the crumbs on the top and sides. Much easier than putting the crumbs on and trying to transfer it all to a pan. I did that the first time. . . . learned that lesson! It will look like this – well almost. I forgot to take a picture before it went in the oven so this in long enough to brown the bottom a bit.
Crusted tenderloin

Below is what it looks like when it comes out of the oven.
Baked Tenderloin

Carefully scoop away crumbs in bottom of pan and lift the tenderloin to the serving platter. Let it set for five minutes so the juicy tenderness develops fully. Slice into half inch thick rounds. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or rosemary, if desired.

Elegant Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Yield: 6 servings

Elegant Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Ingredients

  • 2 cups seasoned Italian Dressing bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper or more to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line shallow baking sheet with aluminum foil to simplify clean up or use a good non-stick baking pan. Spray whichever you use generously with cooking spray.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients with oil.
  4. Pat tenderloin dry.
  5. Make a bed of crumbs the size of the tenderloin and about one fourth inch deep in bottom of baking pan. Press tenderloin firmly into bed, then pat remaining crumbs on top and side of tenderloin about one fourth inch thick to cover thoroughly.
  6. Make a tent of aluminum foil to cover tenderloin so that it does not burn. Bake about 15 minutes, remove foil and continue baking uncovered for another 10 to 20 minutes until golden. If using meat thermometer, internal temperature should be between 145F (medium rare) and 155 (medium well).
  7. Remove from oven and let meat rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing with sharp knife into half inch thick slices.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/11/elegant-crusted-pork-tenderloin/

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Slow Cooker Apple Dessert

Slow Cooker Apple Dessert -- A Pinch of Joy
Slow Cooker Apple Dessert -- A Pinch of Joy

Slow cooker apple dessert is just that – a dessert. It isn’t a cobbler, cake or cookie. Just a nice fruity spicy snack or a not too sweet ending to a meal. This is a perfect dessert to make when you are working on a project at home because it makes the house smell amazing. Wouldn’t want to waste that cinnamon odor!!!

The dessert goes together really quickly! Pop it in the crockpot and do what you need to do! Dessert will be ready and waiting for you! The amount of chopped apple does not have to be precise. More apples just means the dessert will be more moist. Depending on your crockpot, check at 2 and a half hours just to make sure that the dessert is not browning too quickly. It is good warm or cold – my preference is cold because the flavors meld.   Don’t skip the topping because the cold, creamy smoothness really makes the other flavors shine!

Slow Cooker Apple Dessert

Yield: 8 servings

Slow Cooker Apple Dessert

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 - 6 medium apples, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup walnuts

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop apples.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder cinnamon and salt in mixing bowl.
  3. Add apples to flour mixture, coating apples lightly.
  4. In small bowl, mix eggs and vanilla. Add to apple mixture and stir until just moistened.
  5. Spray crockpot with cooking spray and spoon apple mixture into crockpot.
  6. Cover and bake on high about 3 hours.
  7. Serve with whipped topping.
http://www.apinchofjoy.com/2014/11/slow-cooker-apple-dessert/

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